does the wrath of God begin?
Rev. Roger Best
a vital question since we as believers are promised deliverance
from God's wrath. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 we are told "to wait
for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus,
who delivers us from the wrath to come." And again in
1 Thessalonians 5:9, "For God has not destined us for wrath,
but for obtaining salvation (deliverance) through our Lord Jesus
Christ." In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) and in Luke 17
Jesus tells us that His coming will be like it was in the days of
Noah and Lot. The same day that Noah and his family entered the
ark (Gen 7:11-13) the rains came, and as Lot retreated from Sodom
and Gomorrah judgment came. That same pattern of timing will occur
when Christ returns for us; we will be taken and then judgment -
the wrath of God - will come upon the earth.
of the wrath of God is spoken of in Scripture as "The Day of
the Lord." In Amos 5:20 the day of the Lord is spoken of as
a day of darkness and gloom. In Zephaniah 1:14-15 it says, "Near
is the great day of the Lord, near and coming very quickly; listen,
the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A
day of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day
of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day
of clouds and thick darkness." The day of the Lord is the day
of God's wrath.
In 1 Thessalonians
5 the Apostle Paul writes that to the believer the day of the Lord
will not come like a thief in the night; in fact, the admonition
is to be alert and serious. Then in 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul says
that the day of the Lord will not come until "the apostasy
comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of
destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called
god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple
of God, displaying himself as being God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3b
- 4). Now with that in mind, we go to Matthew 24 and see in verses
22, 29, 30, and 31 that Christ cuts the persecution of Antichrist
short with His coming for the saints. The disciples had asked, "What
is the sign of your coming and the end of the age?" (v. 3),
and Jesus explains what will take place. The sign of His coming
is the heavens lighting up like lightning, and the sign of the end
of the age is the cosmic disturbance that results in the sun, moon,
and stars going dark. We see this occurrence at the sixth seal in
Revelation 6 and see that it fits exactly with what Joel 2:31 says:
"The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood,
before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes."
At the opening
of the sixth seal we see Jesus Christ coming in the clouds for the
saints, followed immediately by the wrath of God. The first five
seals which are on the outside of the scroll are broken and non-supernatural
events (false christs, war, famine, death and martyrdom) take place
with a greater intensity than ever before. Revelation 12:12 speaks
of this persecution by Antichrist as Satan's wrath, but when the
seventh seal is broken the scroll is opened and Revelation 8:1 tells
us that "there was silence in heaven for about a half hour."
Why? Because all of heaven knows that it is time for God's wrath.
As the seven trumpets are blown and the seven bowls are poured out,
the events that take place are supernatural as God's judgment falls
upon planet earth.